Monday, February 28, 2011

:ABC NEWS: "an underwhelming performance"

Mark Day comments on recent developments in News at the ABC. The conclusion that its been an underwhelming performance rings true. Read the article: "Not a good look for Aunty as top guns fail to fire"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Skorea or Nkorea

ABC in 2008...
oops!
Best not to throw stones in that fragile glass house.
SO, so glad that ABC is not running for Presidential candidacy.
Might have been raised elsewhere, but... 
H/T to Chris P. anyway.
(note that headline has since been corrected)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Breaking news - ABC reveal Nation's true traditional owners

YOUR taxes at work.
Additional mix ups between headlines and images immediately below and see HERE for some examples from last week. 

Friday Funny

ABC Environment still mixing up images with headlines, here's a selection:
Something fishy...
The Mr Big of Abalone

 
Smugglers foiled by Sydney Traffic

 
I caught a fish...this big! 

Easy to catch, not so easy to clean.

  We miss Kevin
Julia Gillard reveals her true self.

 Sandbaggers go too far!

More from ABC's "rice paddy guy" 
Vietnamese rice farmers breath sigh of relief
Promise from now on to use real crash test dummies
Because ABC thinks all migrant workers look like this.
 
Vietnamese rice farmer sighs...not again.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

missing News: Coral gone...on migration

If you only read the ABC this report that claims "Coral reefs could be gone by 2050" may have sent the shivers down your spine. Here's some research ABC's activists (following revelations of bias we can hardly could call them journalists or even reporters anymore) are unlikely to report that provides a more realistic outcome based on a little thing called evidence...

Corals moving  north

Some Pacific corals have done the equivalent of moving from sunnyAtlanta to Detroit, possibly in response to rising ocean temperatures.
A new study of reefs around Japanreveals that a handful of coral species have migrated from the balmy subtropics to temperate climate zones over the last 80 years. The study is the first to track coral reefs for such a long time and over several latitude lines, a Japanese team reports in an upcoming Geophysical Research Letters


Taken with other studies that report animals moving north as temperature rises, it’s a good hypothesis that the corals in this study are moving to fight the heat, says John Pandolfi, a marine biologist at the University ofQueensland in BrisbaneAustralia. Researchers will next need to study these species in the lab to test whether temperature is truly the culprit.
But adjusting the marine thermostat isn’t the only way to kill a coral. Too much acidity from high concentrations of carbon dioxide can also weaken coral reefs. So it’s peculiar that the Japanese corals moved north, says Pandolfi, because their new homes are likely more saturated with carbon dioxide. It appears corals are able and willing to make that trade-off, he says.


Importantly the study also showed no changes at the southern end.
"We show the first large-scale evidence of the poleward range expansion of modern corals, based on 80 years of national records from the temperate areas of Japan, where century-long measurements of in situ sea-surface temperatures have shown statistically significant rises. Four major coral species categories, including two key species for reef formation in tropical areas, showed poleward range expansions since the 1930s, whereas no species demonstrated southward range shrinkage or local extinction. The speed of these expansions reached up to 14 km/year, which is far greater than that for other species. Our results, in combination with recent findings suggesting range expansions of tropical coral-reef associated organisms, strongly suggest that rapid, fundamental modifications of temperate coastal ecosystems could be in progress." [Hiroya Yamano, Kaoru Sugihara, Keiichi Nomura 2011: Geophysical Research Letters]

Missing News: Kilimanjaro

Via Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.:
New Study “Land Use Change Impacts On Regional Climate Over Kilimanjaro” By Fairman Jr. Et Al 2011
There is a new paper which addresses an interesting question on the role of land use/land cover change in the vicinity of Mount Kilimanjaro on the climate in this region. The paper is

Fairman, J. G., Jr., U. S. Nair, S. A. Christopher, and T. M├Âlg (2011), Land use change impacts on regional climate over Kilimanjaro, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D03110, doi:10.1029/2010JD014712

What, CO2 not to blame!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Missing Views: Judith Curry II

ABC yet to interview climate scientist Prof. Judith Curry. We thought her latest post might be of interest, it's called Hiding the decline.
Here's an extract:

Bad science and/or dishonesty?
There is no question that the diagrams and accompanying text in the IPCC TAR, AR4 and WMO 1999 are misleading.  I was misled.  Upon considering the material presented in these reports, it did not occur to me that recent paleo data was not consistent with the historical record.  The one statement in AR4 (put in after McIntyre’s insistence as a reviewer) that mentions the divergence problem is weak tea.
I don’t want to throw the baby away with the bath water here.  But this whole issue is a big problem for the science and has been an enormous black eye for the credibility of the IPCC and climate science.   I suspect that many denizens will be on board with my assessment and are very familiar with McIntyre’s analysis.  I would be particularly interested in hearing from any defenders of these global paleotemperature analyses by Mann et al.

Online Opinion: an appropriate space for ABC staff to post their views

Our article on ABC Environment's blatant bias and ignorance that featured in The Australian on Monday has now been reposted at Online Opinion (http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11658). Please take time to add your thoughts there and support Online Opinion. This is the sort of of web space ABC staff could be using to voice their views, rather riding on the back of the tax payer. The savings of cutting ABC's opinion pages would not be insignificant and could be used to pay for additional reporters, some of whom may be able to cover some of those missing news items. Alternately this money could be used to support sites like Online Opinion, be used elsewhere or returned to the tax payer.

Use of tax payers funds to provide free entertainment and information to a demographic that can well afford to pay for it is just another form of middleclass welfare. If ABC continues with its opinion content it should do so under a subscription model.

Monday, February 21, 2011

ABC Bias yields no apology for Mr McIntyre

In an article published in The Australian last year we speculated that ABC's biased and unbalanced coverage of all things climate was not malicious but born from sensationalism and naivety. It seems that we were wrong and for one ABC reporter at least the basis for decided what news is worth reporting on is based on idle internet gossip and ideology rather than facts. Read why in an article titled Bias at the national broadcaster is as easy as ABC in today's Australian newspaper. This goes a long way to explain why there are so, so many peer reviewed papers sceptical of a climate catastrophe that are missing from ABC's news coverage. Maurice Newman, ABC's chairman, recognised Groupthink in ABC's climate reporting, here's a clear example of it.
Meanwhile there is no apology for Mr McIntyre, and his important research remains a mystery to ABC's Audience. We attempted to contact ABC's reporter on this but she declined to respond (see below).

As Jonathan Holmes put it last week regarding an unrelated ACMA finding..."But how anyone could conclude anything from this one, other than that the regulator is an ass, I have no idea." ABC regulates its own, its audience and consumer affairs section finding nothing wrong with ABC's moderation process. 

Update: Brief interview on the issue of ABC bias with Gary Hardgrave on Brisbane's 4BC this afternoon.

Email correspondence with the ABC (in italics) related to the matter is presented below...
To: Audience Consumer Affairs
From: Marc Hendrickx
Subject: offending comments on ABC's environment blog
Date: 06/12/10 12:53
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC program: ABC enviroment-Cancun may see the abandonment of the UN process
Date of program: 30/11/2010
Contact type: Complaint
Location: NSW
Subject: offending comments on ABC's environment blog
Comments: The comments at the bottom of this complaint appear on ABC's Environment Blog under the post "Cancun may see the abandonment of the UN process" by Sara Phillips. The comments are defamatory and should not have been posted by the Blog moderator, contravening the following sections of ABC Online condition of use. I request ABC withdraw the comments and issue an apology to Mr McIntyre.
 Sections 4.4.1 defamatory, or otherwise unlawful or that it violates laws regarding harassment, discrimination, racial vilification, privacy or contempt;
4.4.2 intentionally false or misleading;
4.4.4 abusive, offensive or obscene;
4.4.5 inappropriate, off topic, repetitive or vexatious. 4.4.9 deliberate provocation of other community members.

from ABC Corporate_Affairs7
to marc hendrickx
date Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 5:08 PM
subject Re: offending comments on ABC's environment blog
Dear Mr Hendrickx
Thank you for your email regarding a comment from a user published in the comments section under the article 'Cancun may see the abandonment of the UN process' on the ABC Environment blog. I understand you believe the comment contravened the ABC Online Conditions of Use.
I should explain that the investigative remit of Audience & Consumer Affairs encompasses the ABC's editorial standards (as set out in the Code of Practice and Editorial Policies) only. The Conditions of Use are not editorial standards; they are the conditions under which users contribute to the ABC's interactive services.
Section 9 of the Editorial Policies sets out the principles and standards relevant to user-generated content (UGC) such as comments submitted on blogs. In particular, sections 9.4.3-8 set out the various types of UGC moderation available; section 9.4.10 provides that the ABC is not required to verify the accuracy of UGC or correct inaccuracies in UGC, but may exercise its discretion to edit, remove or clarify UGC containing errors; and section 9.4.12 requires the ABC to "be open to the spectrum of views and give users a fair opportunity to participate".
The moderator of the ABC Environment portal has advised that the comment to which you refer was approved for publication, following the pre-moderation process (see section 9.4.4(a)), as it was deemed not to be defamatory or otherwise in contravention of the Conditions of Use. The moderator has explained this decision as follows:
"Mr McIntyre is described by "Annie" as being an "extremist right wing provocateur".
Mr McIntyre's views are seen by some as extreme. "Annie", clearly, believes they are.
He could reasonably be described as "right wing" as a speaking member of the George C Marshall Institute, which is known for its right-leaning politically conservative views.
"Provocateur" is a name given to describe those whose thinking goes against that of the status quo, another label that could reasonably be given to Mr McIntyre.
As such, the comments from "Annie" are not unfounded and therefore not defamatory."
I appreciate that you may disagree with the moderator's decision. However, Audience & Consumer Affairs is satisfied that the relevant standards set out in section 9 of the Editorial Policies were met. The moderation process took place, as required, and users were given a fair opportunity to participate.
Nonetheless, please be assured that your comments have been noted and conveyed to the moderator. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. For your reference, the ABC's editorial standards are available here: http://abc.net.au/corp/pubs/edpols.htm.
Yours sincerely
SM
ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs


from Marc Hendrickx
to scott.mark@abc.net.au,
Newman.Maurice@abc.net.au
date Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 8:22 PM
subject Fwd: offending comments on ABC's blog
Dear Mr Newman,
I refer the reply received from ABC complaints below above. What a low bar ABC now sets for itself.
Regards
Marc Hendrickx

from Marc Hendrickx
to ABC Corporate_Affairs6
cc smcintyre
date Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 10:15 PM
subject Fwd: offending comments on ABC's environment blog
To Head of ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs
Dear K,
Can you please review this response. It seems that ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs are editorialising on the part of the anonymous blogger concerned. There is in fact no way of knowing the reasons behind the defamatory post, unless ABC have contacted the blogger concerned. In regard to Mr McIntyre, ABC claims that "He could reasonably be described as "right wing" as a speaking member of the George C Marshall Institute, which is known for its right-leaning politically conservative views." The fact that Mr McIntyre has spoken at the Marshall institute does not make him a member of the "extremist right wing", it in fact says nothing about Mr McIntyre's political views whatsoever. As there is no foundation for the anonymous blogger's comments they can indeed be seen as defamatory.
This is perhaps the weakest argument I have had from the ABC and surely one beneath the usual high standard one expects from ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs. How does ABC contend this is the basis for the anonymous bloggers view point. It seems to be the uninformed view of the ABC staff member(s) concerned. Can you please clarify if this is the case?
Will ABC now retract the comments and issue Mr McIntyre with a formal apology?
Regards
Marc Hendrickx

from Steve McIntyre
to ABC Corporate_Affairs6
phillips.sara@,
CORPORATE_AFFAIRS7.
cc Marc Hendrickx
date Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 1:23 AM
subject RE: offending comments on ABC's environment blog

I am not a “member of the George Marshall Institute”. This allegation on your part is untrue. I once spoke at a briefing session sponsored by George Marshall Institute, but that does not make me a “member” or imply any endorsement on my part of their views. I would have been delighted to make the same presentation at a session sponsored by the Pew Center.
Nor is there any basis for characterizing my political views as “extremist right wing”. I have seldom expressed political opinions, though I once said that, in American terms, I would have been a Bill Clinton supporter. My only recent political contributions have been to a left-wing municipal politician in Toronto, Pam McConnell. I challenge you to provide any evidence that I hold “extremist right wing” political views.
The comments by Annie are totally unfounded and defamatory.
Yours truly,
Stephen McIntyre


from ABC Corporate_Affairs7
to marc hendrickx
date Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 4:34 PM
subject Re: offending comments on ABC's environment blog
Dear Mr Hendrickx
Thank you for your emails.
I wish to clarify that the section of my previous email explaining the reasons the comment you referred to was considered to be consistent with the Conditions of Use was a direct quote from the moderator. Audience & Consumer Affairs did not investigate the veracity of the moderator's position, and certainly did not editorialise on behalf of the user who submitted the comment. Instead, Audience & Consumer Affairs satisfied itself that the moderation process took place and the relevant provisions of section 9 of the Editorial Policies were met.
Please be assured, your additional comments have been brought to the attention of the moderator. The comment in question has now been removed from the comments section under the article.
Yours sincerely
SM
ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs


from Marc Hendrickx
to ABC Corporate_Affairs7
cc ABC Corporate_Affairs6
phillips.sara@abc.net.au,
smcintyre
Bruce Belsham
Newman.Maurice

date Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 7:30 AM
subject Re: offending comments on ABC's environment blog
Dear SM (Audience and consumer affairs),
Given your response it seems there is a problem with the moderator's judgement in allowing the comments through in the first place.
It surprises me that it has taken almost 4 weeks to sort this matter out. That the comments were posted in the first place is unacceptable. That it has required mine and Mr McIntyre's intervention to correct the matter speaks volumes about ABC's lack of capacity for independent investigation. For instance why didn't you contact Mr McIntyre in the first instance to independently confirm the moderators response, so that a quicker resolution to this complaint could be achieved?
Can you ensure:
1. An apology to Mr McIntyre will be posted to the ABC environment blog in the form of an editorial comment. Here's an example:
"Defamatory comments regarding Steve McIntyre were posted to this blog due to an error in judgement by the blog moderator. The comments have now been removed and ABC Environment apologies for any offence it may have caused Mr McIntyre. The moderator has been provided with additional training in ABC Editorial Policies to prevent such an event recurring."
2. The moderator will be provided with additional training in ABC Editorial Policy and condition's of use to prevent such a failure of judgement reoccurring.
Given Item 1 is not forthcoming, please pass this complaint on to ABC Complaints Review Executive for further consideration.
Regards
Marc Hendrickx

from Marc Hendrickx
to phillips.sara@abc.net.au,
ABC Corporate_Affairs6
ABC Corporate_Affairs7
date Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:00 AM
subject Fwd: offending comments on ABC's environment blog
Dear Ms Phillips,
I am in the process of writing up this episode for a possible opinion piece for an Australian Newspaper. Can confirm you are the moderator referred to below. Did you advise ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs the following:
"Mr McIntyre is described by "Annie" as being an "extremist right wing provocateur".
Mr McIntyre's views are seen by some as extreme. "Annie", clearly, believes they are.
He could reasonably be described as "right wing" as a speaking member of the George C Marshall Institute, which is known for its right-leaning politically conservative views.
"Provocateur" is a name given to describe those whose thinking goes against that of the status quo, another label that could reasonably be given to Mr McIntyre.
As such, the comments from "Annie" are not unfounded and therefore not defamatory." Sara it's your blog I'll presume it's you, unless you tell me otherwise. By the way have you provided an apology to Mr McIntyre yet?

K and SM,
Given you are independent of the ABC, if Sara declines to admit the comments are hers can you please confirm she is the originator of the comments quoted above.
Regards
Marc Hendrickx

from ABC Corporate_Affairs7
to Marc Hendrickx
date Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 1:27 PM
subject Re: offending comments on ABC's environment blog
Dear Mr Hendrickx
Thank you for your email.
Audience & Consumer Affairs has nothing further to add to our previous responses in relation to this matter. Your correspondence has been brought to the attention of ABC Innovation.
Yours sincerely
SM
ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs


We received no reply from Sara Phillips

ABC Complaints Review Executive correspondence
From: Marc Hendrickx
Sent: Thursday, 30 December 2010 11:57 AM
To: ABC Corporate_Affairs6
Cc: Steve McIntyre
Subject: Re: offending comments on ABC's environment blog
Thanks for your reply K,
As no apology to Mr McIntyre has been posted on the ABC Environment Blog can you please forward this matter on to ABC CRE for further deliberation. The grounds for further investigation are as follows:
1. Absence of independent verification of ABC Moderator's claims by ABC Audience and Consumer affairs. In this case ABC audience and consumer affairs have failed to be independent.
2. The failure in moderation process that allowed the offending comment to be posted and subsequent editorialising by ABC Moderator to support the defamatory post, who in the absence of other advice is assumed to be the author of the blog piece, namely Sara Phillips.
3. Absence of an apology to Mr McIntyre who was defamed by the ABC.
Regards
Marc Hendrickx

from CM
to marc hendrickx
date Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 2:53 PM
subject ABC Complaint - Acknowledgement
Dear Mr Hendrickx
The ABC’s Complaints Review Executive (CRE) has received your complaint concerning a blog posting on an online ABC Environment story published on 30 November 2010.
The CRE will consider the matter against the ABC’s editorial requirements and aims to complete the review by 1 February 2011.
Yours sincerely
CM
Assistant to the Complaints Review Executive

from
Marc Hendrickx
to "CM
cc ABC Corporate_Affairs6
date Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 6:13 AM
subject Re: ABC Complaint - Acknowledgement
Dear C,
Thankyou for the eacknowledgement. Further to the points raised in correspondence with ABC Audience and consumer affairs I challenge the claim that the complaint was not upheld. While the defamatory blog posting may have been moderated in the first instance, clearly the moderation failed to accord with ABC's Code of Conduct. That the moderator can hold such ignorant views appears to support Maurice Newman's claims of Groupthink in the ABC. That the views are held by a senior ABC reporter (Sara Phillips) is flabbergasting and suggests Ms Phillips needs help to distinguish environmental activism from environmental journalism. The biased views help account for the lack of coverage of the work of Mr McIntyre by the ABC.
Regards
Marc Hendrickx

REVIEW OF COMPLAINT
Background
On 24 December 2010 a request for review was received from a NSW reader of the ABC Environment blog, dissatisfied with a response from Audience and Consumer Affairs (A&CA). The complainant was advised that the Complaints Review Executive (CRE)would aim to complete the review by 1 February 2011.
Content
On 30 November 2010, the story Cancun may see the abandonment of the UN process was published by Sara Phillips on the ABC Environment blog with a number of subsequent contributions by members of the public.
Correspondence
On 6 December, the complainant wrote:
“The comments at the bottom of this complaint appear on ABC's Environment Blog under the post "Cancun may see the abandonment of the UN process" by Sara Clarke. The comments are defamatory and should not have been posted by the Blog moderator, contravening the following sections of ABC Online condition of use. I request ABC withdraw the comments and issue an apology to Mr McIntyre. Sections 4.4.1 defamatory, or otherwise unlawful or that it violates laws regarding harassment, discrimination, racial vilification, privacy or contempt;4.4.2 intentionally false or misleading;4.4.4 abusive, offensive or obscene;4.4.5 inappropriate, off topic, repetitive or vexatious. 4.4.9 deliberate provocation of other community members.

A&CA responded on 16 December and advised the complainant that A&CA is responsible for the ABC’s adherence to the Editorial Policies and the Conditions of Use are not editorial standards; they are the conditions under which users contribute to the ABC's interactive services. The item was assessed against Section 9 of the ABC’s Editorial Policies and found to be in keeping with the ABC’s process of user generated comment in that a moderation process was undertaken and that users were given a fair opportunity to contribute their views. In subsequent communication with the complainant, A&CA advised that the moderator of the content was made aware of the complainant’s views and the comments made by “annie” were removed from the blog.
Dissatisfied with the response the complainant replied on 24 December and requested a review by the CRE.
Basis of Assessment
Comments submitted on the ABC’s Environment blog are subject to Section 9 of the ABC Editorial Policies, which sets out the principles and standards relevant to usergenerated content (UGC). In particular the following:
9.4.10 Accuracy and corrections. The ABC cannot reasonably be expected to verify the accuracy of UGC or to correct all inaccuracies in UGC, other than for UGC that is used by the ABC in another content category (see section 9.1.6). However, where the ABC is satisfied it is necessary or appropriate, it may exercise its discretion to edit, remove or clarify UGC that contains an error or is otherwise false or misleading.
9.4.12 Mindful of its duty to maintain its independence and integrity, the ABC will be open to the spectrum of views and give users a fair opportunity to participate.
Assessment
I have read the relevant material contained on the ABC’s Environment blog as well as the email correspondence between the ABC’s A&CA and the complainant. In investigating this matter I note that the moderator of the Environment blog posted the “annie” comment on 3 rd December. Following correspondence between the complainant and the ABC, including additional comments sent to A&CA on 16th December (these comments were brought to the attention of the moderator), the “annie” post was removed from the blog.
This is action which conforms with Section 9 of ABC Editorial Policies, whereby the ABC may exercise discretion by editing or removing UGC considered to be false or misleading.
It also appears that under the terms of the ABC’s Editorial Policies relating to UGC this is all that the ABC is required to do in this matter.
I note the difficult task faced by journalists (in this case online moderators) having to quickly and accurately assess UGC, while maintaining an ongoing conversation with contributors used to rapid responses. Part of that difficult task involves dealing with the unpredictability of defamation law.I note that the complainant claims that the “annie” comment was defamatory, but this has not been legally tested.
In first choosing to post the “annie” comment I find that the Environment blog moderator was applying Editorial Policy 9.4.12 i.e. treating the “annie” comment as one which was within the spectrum of views.
I conclude that the moderation process did take place, as required, and users were given a fair opportunity to participate.
Finding
Having assessed the content and the concerns of the complainant I consider that ABC editorial requirements were met. Therefore the complaint is not upheld.
MARK BOWLING
COMPLAINTS REVIEW EXECUTIVE
DATE: 27 January 2011